Melinda Hyder the second castaway to exit 'Survivor: Panama'
By Reality TV World staff, 02/10/2006
Openly dubbed to be one of her new tribe's two weak links by her new tribe's already unstable dominant alliance, Melinda Hyder, a 32-year-old professional singer from Sevierville, TN, became the second Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island contestant to be eliminated from the game
Last night's CBS broadcast of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island's second episode began with the game's four initial tribes suffering through a torrential Night 3 downpour. The next day, the mood varied wildly at the various camps. At Casaya, the "older women" tribe that had voted outdoorswoman Tina Scheer off the island at their previous night's Tribal Council session, the three remaining castaways struggled to create a fire.
Meanwhile the spirits of Bayoneta, the "younger women" tribe, soared when Courtney Marit and Sally Schumann were able to pick the ripe fruit of a papaya tree that they'd found. After having spent Night 1 alone without food or water on Exile Island, Misty Giles seemed to enjoy the fruit even more than her two other tribemates... perhaps a little too much. "OK, this is just... I'm like wow... it's almost orgasmicly wonderful, honestly," 24-year-old missile engineer gushed. "It's so good, oh it's like heaven. I'm about to cry, we have food."
Over at the La Mina "older men" tribe, Shane Powers was starting to feel extremely homesick. "I think of everything that I'm missing right now... I think about my kid... I miss him so much," the 35-year-old entertainment marketing company owner lamented as he walked on the beach. "There's no reason for me to be doing this, I make more than enough money, I don't know why I did this to myself."
Later on Day 4, the tribes assembled for their second Reward Challenge. However once they gathered, Survivor host Jeff Probst had another surprise for the castaways -- rather than remaining separated into four gender and age divided tribes, the castaways would be reshuffled into two new tribes via a "schoolyard pick." After randomly determining that Terry Deitz and Danielle DiLorenzo would be the respective first members of the new La Mina and Casaya tribes, the tribes took turns picking one castaway at a time until Bruce Kanegai remained unselected.
The new seven castaway La Mina tribe would be Terry, Sally, Misty, Austin Carty, Nick Stanbury, Ruth Marie Milliman, and Dan Barry while the new seven castaway Casaya tribe would consist of Danielle, Melinda, Courtney, Shane, Aras Baskauskas, Cirie Fields, and Bobby Mason. Rather than become the eighth member of one of the new tribes, Jeff once again surprised the castaways by announcing that Bruce would spend the next three days alone on Exile Island, after which he would attend Survivor: Panama's Night 6 Tribal Council session and, once whichever tribe that attended the Tribal Council had voted off one of its members, join that tribe.
Once Bruce departed for Exile Island, the two new tribes competed in the Reward Challenge -- an obstacle course challenge that required the castaways to collect six wooden snakes. The tribes would collect two snakes at each of the course's three stations, and one castaway would have to carry all of the snakes, with the first tribe to cross the finish line with all six snakes winning fishing supplies.
Both tribes got off to a good start, with Nick and Courtney serving as their tribe's respective "snake wranglers." The tribes remained neck and neck as they entered the final station, however La Mina proved more adept at finding the last two snakes that were buried in the final station's leaf pit, winning the valuable fishing gear for their tribe.
Although they'd lost the Reward Challenge, the younger members of the new Casaya tribe quickly bonded upon arriving at their new camp. Shane, a three pack a day smoker who, as part of his Survivor experience, was suddenly quitting cold turkey, continued to exhibit wild moods swings. "I'm in a much better mood than I was this morning," he confessed to the cameras. "I've always related better with younger people... when I was at the other tribe I was thinking every single minute about when I was going to be leaving [but] here I haven't really thought about leaving yet."
But while Shane was -- at least momentarily -- happy about his Survivor: Panama status, Cirie and Melinda quickly felt out of place among Shane and the tribe's three 20-something members. "If our tribe loses the coming up Immunity Challenge, I think Cirie and I are screwed," Melinda explained during confessional. "Yep, we're screwed." Melinda's concern proved well founded when immediately thereafter, the suddenly reinvigorated Shane was shown establishing a Final Four alliance with his three younger tribemates "The first five minutes we were there, [Shane] was just like '[It's] us four' -- me, Shane, Aras, and Courtney," Danielle later confessed to the cameras.
Over at La Mina, Dan, who had quickly formed an endgame alliance with Terry during their first day on the island, was excited to have managed to remain on the same tribe as him. "I am thrilled with this outcome," gushed the former astronaut. "Terry and I have a fantastic relationship and a strategy that's going to take us all the way, so it's great."
Recognizing that an alliance of two couldn't control the voting behavior of a tribe of seven, Terry quickly approached Nick and Austin with the suggestion of allying with himself and Dan "Terry just laid it out there [and] said him and Dan are together and they want Austin and I with him," Nick later explained to the cameras. "It makes sense for the short term of the tribe -- the four of us have nothing to worry about with the majority over the three women, but I don't know, you never know what's going to happen."
Shortly thereafter, Sally approached Austin with a proposal that he and Nick join herself and Misty in another four person alliance. "It is definitely Austin and Nick in the middle right now," Austin later explained during a confessional. "We are right in the middle of a tug of war. It lets me know that this game is serious, this isn't just all fun and games, somebody is going to get hurt out here."
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Meanwhile over on Exile Island, Bruce had discovered a map detailing his clues as to the location of the island's hidden Immunity Idol. In addition to telling him that the idol wouldn't be found in a middle section of the island and explaining that the idol was hidden above the tide line, the clue also contained a written transcript of the Day 1 clue that Jeff verbally provided to Misty, who although she had attempted to bluff her fellow castaways into believing otherwise, had failed to find the idol during her one day stay on the island.
The transcript put the "why" in Jeff's comment that Misty had "a lot of time to think about why fate chose you to be the first one out here" in quotes, verifying that despite what Misty thought she had heard, Jeff never mentioned the word "behind" in his statement to her and seemingly confirming online message board speculation that Jeff's use of the word "why" was a key part of the initial clue. However rather than pick up on the use of the word "why," Bruce seemed to focus in on the second new clue, speculating that the clue meant that the idol was hidden somewhere among the cliffs that comprised part of the island's shoreline.
On Day 6, the tribes gathered for their second Immunity Challenge. a water challenge that would require five of each tribe's castaways to board an anchored boat, pull six plugs that would cause it to start taking on water, and then bail out the water while the final two members of each tribe dived underwater and moved the boat by dragging the boat's heavy anchor toward shore. Once they'd clipped their boat to a hitching post, the tribe would carry their anchor up the beach and finish the challenge by putting a large zombie head on a headless zombie body, with the first try to do so winning immunity from the evening's upcoming Tribal Council session.
Unlike the previous Reward Challenge, the Immunity Challenge quickly turned into a mismatch, with La Mina taking a huge lead to due to what Jeff termed an "absolutely inept" performance from Casaya. Although they changed diving members several times, Casaya was never able to fully close the huge gap, resulting in La Mina winning the challenge rather easily.
Once Casaya got back to camp, Shane went through another wild mood swing, approached his new alliance mates and asking them to vote him off the tribe at the evening's Tribal Council session. "I'm beat, I'm wiped out, I want a cigarette, I want a coffee, I want to have a big sandwich," Shane vented during confessional. "I want to call my kid [and] tell him I love him and this is the stupidest thing I've ever done in my whole life."
The request upset his shocked allies -- and they let him know so. "Shane is letting us down... completely," a frustrated Courtney later explained. "He's leaving us high and dry and I feel he just snapped together and threw in the towel. It's just like 'Come on man, pick it up!'"
But while Courtney, Danielle, and Aras were upset about Shane's request, the move gave Cirie and Melinda new hope that they might both survive the night's Tribal Council session. "Just when we thought it was over, Shane wants to quit!," Cirie confessed. "If somebody wants to quit, let him quit."
However like most of his mood swings, Shane's latest request proved to be fleeting, with Aras later convincing Shane to give Survivor one more shot. Brazenly arrogant, Aras and Shane approached the tribe's four women and announced that Shane had decided to stay and the two men would instead be casting their Tribal Council votes for either Cirie or Melinda, with it already further determined that whichever of the women that didn't go that evening would be the next tribe member to be voted off.
The sudden announcement visibly upset Courtney. "It was so stupid," Courtney confessed about Aras, while also expressing frustrating that Shane openly revealed their foursome alliance. "If this total instability continues, it's going to be very hard to know that he will be there for us."
After the conversation, Cirie and Melinda appeared resigned to their fate. "We're screwed," Cirie remarked to Melinda as the sun set. Meanwhile, although she approached Cirie and Melinda and explained she felt "awful" about her alliance's decision, Danielle didn't appear to feel so "awful" that she considered teaming with Cirie, Melinda, and the all but invisible Bobby (remember him?) to vote off Shane.
In the end, Cirie and Melinda's feelings proved accurate at the evening Tribal Council session, with Bobby and Casaya's four person alliance voting Melinda out of Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island via a 5-2 vote.